When I try to pose him, his other parts flop around and look stupid.
My daughter told me to "play" with Thrust and Drift. I told her it wouldn't be fair; any Decepticon could mop the floor with that emo pretty boy. Even freaking Laserbeak could decimate him in a matter of ten seconds.
Drift is "Peerless Below Heaven", so says his sword. And Thrust is all talk.
Originally Posted by El Chuxter
Human Alliance Autobot Jazz with Captain Lennox (and motorcycle) - let's start with Lennox. This figure is fairly blah, but not as bad as the Epps figure. Lennox has tiny, beady eyes that are too close together. The head is sculpted very generic, totally unrecognizable as Josh Duhamel, a dull unhappy smirk on the face, has glossy caucasian paint, deli mustard-colored hair (also wrong for the character), and no neck because the head seems a touch too small for the figure. The body is a gray uniform with sculpted web gear painted black, and also unlike Epps it's not horribly out of scale to its legs. Articulation is standard for the line, which is to say, no torso joint but neck, shoulders, hips, knees. He is a woefully smaller scale than Jazz, standing next to or sitting inside of Jazz's Pontiac Solstice mode it's like looking at a little kid, the Solstice only comes up to an adult's waist, but on this figure it's to his neck! This is more a scale problem with Jazz and the bike actually, but since there's less Lennox, he is the odd man out. Lennox sits adequately inside the Solstice (there really aren't seats, the interior is a lot of cheating), and while he can straddle the bike and not look too bad, his hands don't orient to the grips so you have to fudge it. I'll cover how he interacts with the other stuff in the other parts of the review.
The bike isn't as bad as I feared, it's designed low enough that it doesn't come too far out of scale to Lennox even though it's longer than it should be. The gas tank is an odd, oversized disk shape, and there's a large arm acting as the very low kickstand on the right rear, and the faring swoops way further back than a normal bike, but otherwise this is decent as a bike. Unfortunately, the designers couldn't find a better place for the missile, so they pegged it to the left side of the bike where it's just a missile ramming into the ground. There's also a transformation joint in the middle that won't close those last few degrees, but this isn't too obvious, especially with a rider. The bike has a clear windshield, a nice touch. The bike transforms into Jazz's gun-hand, the instructions get it wrong though, not noticing that the front AND rear wheel both pivot backwards for transformation. From the front, it's pretty much Jazz's weapon, from the side it's a folded up motorcycle with its front-end bent down. The front of the gun accommodates the last inch of the 3-inch projectile, it's a lot of missile sticking out the front. The bike's seat in gun mode reveals a second set of handlebars, and the figure can not grip them properly either, but if you want Lennox riding Jazz's gun, it's meant to be something you can do.
Here are some adequate source images of Jazz, mostly in bot mode, and 1 of Megan Fox in front of a non-customized Solstice to give you a ROUGH idea of scale, you can also see some of the subtle design changes made late in the game to the Jazz bot mode: http://jalopnik.com/260986/transform...jazz-megan-fox
Jazz in alt mode is a Pontiac Solstice. Like Jazz himself, the Solstice was killed brutally, not by Megatron but by economic downturn and GM woefully mismanaging the Pontiac brand into the grave. The Solstice is a redress of GM's Saturn Sky, which itself was a design the Saturn brand bought from British Vauxhall's co-design with Lotus. The Solstice is a small sports car, sized around the region of the Mazda Miata, or the BMW Z3; the Solstice is normally offered as a soft-top roadster, but Jazz is a custom hard-top coupe which differs greatly from the production coupe which came a couple years after the movie. Annnnyway, this alt mode of Jazz is a silver-gray plastic with blue windows and black wheels. The only painted details are silver stripes for the A pillars on the windshield, black on the front grille, and red for the Pontiac logo and opaque brake lights. Oh, wait, I forgot, there's a copper stripe on the front brake disks, but not in the right spot, they're well off from the molded calipers. The blue glass elements are very blue, the rear window goofs though with a rear center stripe and clear outer side glass. The front headlights and fog lights are clear plastic, supposedly there's a frosted variant out there for this. The undercarriage kibble sits ON the ground with less than a millimeter of clearance, the kibble isn't visually an issue except at the rear where it's a black and copper block, not too bad. In terms of sculpt, the details are there, the rear end feels a little simplistic, but the lines are all there in general. The sculpted details are a little soft for this scale, like this was scaled up 20%, but it's not too bad. The car has more panel lines than I'm used to in Human Alliance though, mainly because it's less of a shellmaster than the others. The doors open nicely, inside is a joke, a steering wheel and 2 gauges, everything else is either kibble or open gaps in the floor, but the figure can sit in there with his hands on the wheel and his back pegged into the seatback.
Transformation starts with a huge problem, the rear deck is supposed to be lifted up, but it's tabbed on the sides into the fenders and pegged at the back into the fenders so 1 can't move without the other, kind of a catch-22, which makes starting the transformation very frustrating. Once you get past that though, the rest is more intuitive than the instructions suggest - and the instructions are dead wrong about the hip armor and chest panels, and totally miss the shoulder guns being the pointy detail bits from the movie design. The legs and arms unfold rather plainly, but the car doors as arms works better than expected thanks to a folding-over bit. They fully cheated the design though, the movie bot has the arms totally from different parts, with the front fenders as the forearms, but this is more organic since the wheels are still the shoulders. The torso comes together in an interesting way, the front end totally rotating around the Z axis and then locking diagonally into the spine, using a plate to cover the torso similarly to HA Bumblebee. Transformation back is easier, but has a bit more effort to get right for panels that lock into other stuff.
Jazz's bot mode is much more of a traditional Transformer than the other movie characters. Since the car is so small, more of the car IS the bot rather than covering it, the doors becoming forearms is a good example. And there's no digitigrade chicken legs. The face and sculpted details here are still movie-derived, and there is still kibble at the backpack made up from the hood and roof, but there's also more coverings and solid parts too. Jazz is a little bulkier than I expected even at the legs (the knees are thinner than the rest but don't look too bad), and while he's not as sleek as the movie model, there's enough suggestion at the hips and shoulders that he seems different, he's also got different hands (yes, Jazz finally earns some hands) in a circle of 4 fingers each. The upper body has a lot of detail, while the lower body has less detail and isn't as sharp, but again, the plate design helps carry this. From the side, the figure's torso has a gap to it that seems like it could have been filled in, but it's fairly unnoticeable unless both arms are raised and you're looking from the side. The feet straight up cheat, leaving the wheels outside at the heels, but they raise the wheels up juuuust enough and add heelspurs so there's no rollerskate action, but the gap at the heel looks like the wheel was supposed to go there and just ran out of budget. There are details from the movie, especially at the feet and head. In terms of colors, still a lot of silver but now a lot of black too, and plenty of bronze details, as well as a black Autobot logo on the waist. In terms of size, he's a bit over 7" tall, I haven't tried him with any of the other HA yet but while he should be smaller than any except Sideswipe, I'll bet he's not small enough since his alt mode is a larger scale too.
Jazz has a decent amount of articulation. The head is only a swivel, but the shoulders are universal joints (rotation and hinge); the elbows are actually a rotation joint that slides out, then a hinge, then another hinge on the opposite axis which can fold nearly 180 and is easily missed since that first hinge could be an elbow if you rotate the forearms. The hands rotate around their circle, and from transformation can bend outward a little. No waist articulation. The hips are universal joints with the hinge off-center so his stance gets wider as his legs move outwards. The knees are a standard hinge, and above them is a small side-hinge with only a few degrees range for a flatter stance. Finally, the "boots" are on a rotation. A lot of thought went into the types of articulation, he's not as good as some of the others, but the articulation he has is much more realistic, moving off-center at the shoulders and hips makes more natural poses, and it's easy to balance thanks to an inner swiveling heelspur - I've got mine on my desk standing on 1 leg with the other doing a wicked high side-kick and he is pretty solid.
In terms of gimmicks, Jazz has a nice array. Firstly, a small tab on the back of his head draws his blue visor into his head, revealing his gold upper face and movie-verse eyes - a gimmick designed to the CGI character which I don't think even got used in the movie - and it's really slick here. Next are the Human Alliance weapons, there's a slot behind his head for Master Blaster action. There's a peg on his left hand for Lennox to stand on. The pointy detail things turn around to become ball-jointed blasters. There's a seat on the left shoulder that flips up for Lennox (the instructions omit this seat entirely) and a longer gun behind Jazz's head that unfolds to sit on Lennox's shoulder. Then there's the fold-down attack feet, with the front of the shins having fold-out cannons and acting as a harness for a figure to sit in on each foot - that bit is downright weird. And finally, the motorcycle that transforms into a gun can be pegged into either forearm, and honestly it's not a bad-looking gun for Jazz, but it's too long to be believable as an extension of his forearm as they're trying to suggest. For every single station where the Lennox figure can sit, they sculpted simple grips, from the feet stations to the bike-gun, even the shoulder station has a grip on the side of the shoulder gun!
All in all, I don't know if I can say that Jazz is the best of the line, but he's the newest, and I like him. The alt mode is a little more satisfying than Bumblebee's, and the transformation is less of shellmaster which is good. There are a few little issues, but lots of issues where something was right in a way that previous Human Alliance figures didn't get right. It's got good detail and nifty gimmicks, a nice accessory, good poseability and great balance. I would recommend this figure, and probably give it a strong B+ grade.
I'm not really buying into the attitude of Drift as he trails Animated Blurr and Arcee, even Swoop in that department by a wide margin.
At least I was able to figure out the windshield hinges on HA Jazz because Drift has them as well.
As for HA 'Cons, I'm sorry but there really aren't many that I would want.
I ordered Seaspray to get free shipping on a Joan Jett Barbie for my daughter. (No kidding. She loves Joan Jett. I have to encourage such awesomeness.) I figure it's probably about $2 more than I could eventually get him for at WM or Target, but the difference more than makes up for the shipping costs. (Though, even had I paid for shipping, TRU's online sale was still about $8 less than Wal-Mart.)
HA Jazz doesn't have an abnormally-hinged windshield, it's a standard hinge at the front. Do you mean the hood? Or do you mean the side windows?
Originally Posted by figrin bran
So, on Jazz, I set him up yesterday with the other 3 Human Alliance figures I have. First off, I noticed Lennox is the only human without a torso joint. Why the motorcycle-riding figure has no torso joint is beyond me. But I was right that he's a pinheaded figure, it's REALLY bad.
Second, Jazz's scale isn't as far off as I thought, maybe 10% too big compared to the other bots. He stands taller than Sideswipe but a little shorter than Bumblebee.
Finally, I am going to say something controversial: Jazz is the best Human Alliance figure in the line. He's got good detailing on the upper half, less kibble, less weirdness overall, less backpack than the Autobots, is more stable, more whole, more weapon stations, the bike turns into a more satisfying hand weapon than the others' spring-loaded weapons. Just better overall, I don't have Skids or Mudflap to be sure, but it seems pretty obvious.
Just saw reports of Grimlock sightings in the wild at WTF2005, complete with the requisite obnoxious "pics or it didn't happen" comments, followed by "okay, i haven't uploaded them yet" and grainy but unaltered photos of Grimlocks on the shelves.
Take my word for it, and you don't have to read the complaints there. Instead of complaints, you can gaze upon Michael McDonald's beard, which is a much better use of your pointless staring time.
Originally Posted by El Chuxter
See, it's not just SW collectors that act like that! :p
I still need Human Alliance Mudflap. I have never seen him!
Mudflap was in wave 5, the last of the old packaging style, so it got caught in the resetting of the line and was produced short. There are currently no waves planned with the new packaging for him, but there may be in the future. You could ask a question about that in TF Q&A instead of just inundating us over there with a list of information we have no use for there.
BTW, Amazon is clearancing HA Skids for $23.05 right now.